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Mar 15, 2016 5:08 PM

Manchester man pleads guilty after drug sting involving package with hidden cocaine

CONCORD - A box discovered by Puerto Rican customs with crack cocaine concealed in the flaps was used in a sting that netted a Manchester man.

According to the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire, Juan A. Pichardo Mendez, 35, pleaded guilty to attempted possession with intent to distribute crack.

On Aug. 1, 2014, he took possession of a box that was delivered by a special agent posing as a Federal Express employee.

The box flaps had been discovered to contain cocaine in Puerto Rico and officials there sent it on to Homeland Security agents in Manchester, where the box was addressed to a fictitious person at a residential address.

An undercover agent went to deliver it to the designated address, and the box was accepted by a man who subsequently admitted he was accepting it on behalf of Pichardo Mendez. He contacted Pichardo Mendez and said the box had arrived.

When Pichardo Mendez arrived to retrieve the package, he realized investigators were present and fled but was subsequently arrested.

According to the U.S. District Court, the package had originated in the Dominican Republic.

Pichardo Mendez is being held until his sentencing hearing on June 29.

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